# Faster than a calculator | Arthur Benjamin | TEDxOxford

Translator: Mohammed Basheer

Reviewer: Nadine Hennig Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Art Benjamin

and I am a “mathemagician”. What that means

is I combine my loves of math – or I should say maths – and magic to do what I call “mathemagics”. But before I get started, I’ve got a quick question

for the audience. By any chance, did anyone

here in the audience happen to bring with them

this afternoon a calculator? If you have one, perhaps

on your phone, or somewhere, and you’re pretty comfortable

using it, raise your hand. I’ll need a couple of people

to help me out here. I see one… two…

and perhaps one more… three. With the three of you, bring out your

calculators and join me up here on stage, and let’s give these volunteers

a nice round of applause. Come on up. (Applause) Great. Over on this side, please. Awesome. Since I have not had the chance

to work with these calculators, I need to make sure

that they are all working properly. Would somebody get us started

by giving us a two-digit number, please? How about a two-digit number?

Just yell one out. Audience: 74. Arthur Benjamin: Oh, okay. That’s fine! 74 And another… how about

another two-digit number? How about on this side? Audience: 39. AB: 39. Multiply 74 times 39

on the calculator. Make sure you get 2,886,

or the calculators are not working. Do each of you get 2,886?

Give them a round of applause! (Sighs) (Applause) I noticed that took some of us

a little bit of time to get the answer. That’s ok. I’ll give you a shortcut for multiplying

even faster on the calculator. There’s something called

“the square of a number” which most of you know is taking a number and multiplying it by itself. For instance 5 squared would be… 25. 6 squared would be… 36. 73 squared would be… something else. Yeah. (Laughter) On most of these calculators,

they’ve little shortcut buttons that allow you to square

numbers even faster. What I’m going to try

and do is to square – and you might test it – make sure

you could square 5 or 6 with it, but what I’m going to try and do is to square in my head,

three two-digit numbers faster than they can do

on their calculators, even using the shortcut method. But I’ll ask these three people

in the third row – one, two, three. Each yell out a two-digit number, and if you would square the first one,

the second, and the third one, I will try and race you to the answer. So quickly a two-digit number, please? Audience: 24. Arthur Benjamin: 24, great, next… What was that? Audience: 98. AB: 98… and one more… Audience: 26. AB: 26. Would you call out

your answers, please? First volunteer: 576. AB: 576. Second volunteer: 9,604. AB: 9,604. Third volunteer: 676. AB: 676. Give them a round of applause! (Applause) Let me try to take this one step further. I’m going to try to square

some three-digit numbers. This time, I won’t even write these down. I’ll just call them out

as they’re called out to me. Anyone at all call out

a three-digit number, anyone on our panel verify the answer. If I get the answer right,

give me a big thumbs up. If I make a mistake,

let me know, and I’ll try and fix it. A three-digit number, anyone? Audience: 576. AB: 576 is 331,776? Second volunteer: Yes. AB: Yes? Good! How about another three-digit number,

sir! a three-digit number? Audience: 103. AB: 103 is 10,609. Way too easy!

Another three-digit number, please? Audience: 125. AB: 125 is 15,625, but that’s 5

to the 6th power, so that was easy too. How about another three-digit number, sir? Audience: 985. AB: 985 is 970,225.

Yes, thumbs up, if it’s right. One more three-digit number, sir? Audience: 926. AB: 926 is 857,476? Thank you very much. (Applause) (Sighs) (Applause) Let me try to take this one step further. I am going to try to square

a four-digit number this time, I am not going to beat you

to the answer on this one, but I will try to get the answer right. To make this a little bit more random, how about we use

the fourth row, four people. Each of you calls out a single-digit

number between zero and nine, that will be a four-digit number

that I will square. One, Five, Seven, Seven. 1, 5, 7, 7, this will take me

a little bit of time, so bear with me – 3 million – (Sighs) (Laughter) 486,929? No? OK, don’t tell me. The number was 1, 5, 7, 7. Oh, wait! 3 million – so far so good? Oh, is that were I went wrong? I never make a mistake, wait. Oh. 2 million, was everything else right? Volunteer: Yes! AB: Thank you very much. (Laughter) What’s one million off? That’s all I ask. (Applause) Now I would attempt to square

a five-digit number, and I can. But unfortunately,

most calculators cannot. So, since we have reached

the limits of our calculators, although some of yours may go higher, I’m going to try to conclude

the first part of my show, by trying something even trickier. Let’s take the first number

on the board here: 576. Would you each enter 576

on your calculator? And instead of squaring it this time,

I’d like you to take that number and multiply it by any

four-digit number that you want. But don’t make it too easy

like 1,000 or 1234, but just some random four-digit number. So you should have as an answer either a six-digit or possibly

a seven-digit number. How many digits are on your answer,

six or seven digits? Seven. Seven. Six. Is there any possible way

that I could know what six or seven-digit numbers

they have? Say “No”. Audience: No. AB: Good. Then I shall attempt the impossible,

or at least the improbable. What I’d like each of you to do

is to call out for me any six of your seven digits, or in your case five of your six digits in any order you do like. One digit at a time, I shall try

and determine the digit you’ve left out. So starting with your six-digit number,

call out any five of them please. First volunteer: 8, 0, 9, 3, 8. AB: 8, 0, 9, 3, 8,

did you leave out the number 8? Yes, that is one. You have got seven-digit number.

Call out any six of yours, loud and clear. Second volunteer: 4, 7, 2, 5, 8, 4. AB: Did you leave out the number six? AB: That’s two. The odds of me getting all three

of these right by pure guessing would be one in 1,000:

10 to the third power. OK, any six of your digits. Really scramble them up this time. Third volunteer: 9, 4, 4, 5, 4, 4. AB: Did you also leave out the number six? Volunteer: Yes. AB: Great, and let’s give all three

of these people a nice round of applause. Thank you very much. (Applause). For my next number… (Laughter) I have another question for the audience. By any chance, does anyone

here happen to know the day of the week

that they were born on? If you think you know your

actual birthday, raise your hand. Starting with you. What year if I may? Audience: 1992. AB: 1992, and what month? Audience: July. AB: July what? 3rd. Was that a Friday? Audience: Yes. AB: Yes, excellent. Somebody else? Yes sir, green shirt. What year? Audience: 1992 AB: 1992, and the month? Audience: June. AB: June what? Audience: 30th. AB: A Tuesday? Audience: Yes. AB: Excellent. Somebody else,

how about you? What year? Audience: 1995. AB: I am sorry sir, what year was it? Audience: 1995. AB: 1995 and what month? Audience: June. AB: June what? Audience: 26th. AB: 26th. Was that a Monday? Audience: Yes. AB: Excellent. I see a hand up

in the balcony, a young lady. I’ll try something different here. If you are sure of your birthday,

what year was it? What day of the week was it?

Tell me in advance the day of the week. Audience: Thursday. Audience: 2002. AB: 2002. Did it happen to be on May 2nd? Audience: Yes. AB: Yes, but that is my daughter,

I knew that one. (Laughter) I was there for that, on that Thursday. Anyway, I never tried that before. Do we have anybody here who doesn’t know

the day of the week they were born on but would like to find out? Ok, now let’s see. I’ll see yours. Now, of course, if you don’t know

what it is, I could just make up an answer and you will probably believe me. But I don’t want you to have to do that,

so I come prepared for that situation. There is an app for everything these days. So, I’ll ask one of you here just

to take this and… So give us your year and then

type in the year in that blank box. What year? Audience: 1995. AB: 1995. So type in 1995. Great. And what month? Audience: September. AB: September.

Press the September button there. And that should give you the calendar.

September what? Audience: 21st. AB: 21st. I believe, it was a Thursday.

Can we get confirmation? It was Thursday. Good. I’ll tell you what, you know since you have the app with you, let’s try something trickier. The app actually goes as far into

the future as 3000, as far back into the past as 1600. Don’t go below 1600. Then we get off the Gregorian calendar

and that messes me up a little. (Laughter) So, what year would you like? Choose a year between

1600 and 3000. Go ahead. Audience: 2730. AB: 2730. So enter 2730 into that.

And what month would you like? Audience: June. AB: June what? Audience: 13th. AB: 13, will that be a Friday? Audience: Yes. AB: Yes, and it’ll be cloudy

on that day too If I am not mistaken. Thank you very much. (Applause) In fact, anybody else who wants

to find out their birthday, see me in the lobby, perhaps in the break,

I’ll be more than happy to tell you. Now, just a little bit of time left

so I’d like to do one last thing for you that I alluded to earlier when we had

the other calculators on stage. I am going to try to square

a five-digit number, requiring if you have a ten-digit

calculator or higher. Fell free to bring out your

calculator at this point. But to make my job more interesting

for you as well as for me, I going to do this last problem

thinking out loud, so you can actually honestly hear what is going on in my mind, while I do a calculation of this size. Let’s create a five-digit number. Why we just go up to this aisle, the first five people along the aisle,

each gives me a single-digit, that will be my five-digit number. Three. Seven. Six. Nine. One. 37,691 squared. Yuck! Let me explain to you how

I’m going to attempt this problem. I’m going to break the problem down

into three parts. I’ll do 37,000 squared, plus, 691 squared, plus, 37,000 times 691 times 2. Add all those numbers together

and with any luck arrive at the answer. Now, let me explain one more thing. While I do this calculation you might hear

certain words, as opposed to numbers, creep into the calculation. Let me explain what that is. This is a phonetic code,

a mnemonic device that I use, that allows me to convert

numbers into words. I store them as words, and later on

retrieve them as numbers. I know it sounds complicated, it’s not. I just don’t want you to think, you’re seeing something

out of “Rain Man” here. (Laughter) There’s definitely

a method to my madness – definitely, definitely. Sorry. (Laughter) One last instruction

for my judges with calculators. Now who has got an answer

in front, raise your hand. Okay, enough of you. There is a 50% chance that I will make

a mistake on this problem. If I do, don’t tell me

what the mistake is, just say, “You’re close or something,” and I’ll try and figure it out which

could be pretty entertaining in itself. If, however, I am right, whatever you do, don’t keep it to yourselves. Make sure everybody knows

that I got the answer right, because this is my big finish, OK? So, without any more stalling, here we go. I’ll start the problem in the middle,

with 37 times 691. Now, let’s see – Oh my gosh –

so that is 700 minus 9 I will take advantage on that,

700 times 37 is 25,100. 37 times 9 is 333, subtract

the two to get 25,567. 25,000 – do I believe that, yeah –

25,567 double that to get 51,134. – 51,134 OK – 51,000 becomes

late tomorrow, late tomorrow is 51,134. That seems right, I’ll go on. Next, I do 37 squared which is 1,369,

so I can say 1 billion. Take the 369 add that to light.

Is there going to be ??? 369 add that to light to get 420 million.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, OK. Next, we do 691 squared that 700 times

682, plus 9 squared that is 477,481. Raft, if I need it, raft, take the 477, add that to tomorrow to get 611,481? Audience: Yeah!

(Applause). AB: Yes, good. Thank you all very much. I hope you enjoyed mathemagics.

I am Arthur Benjamin. Thank you. (Applause)

Me:

1+1=2

I’ll just check on my calculator to make sure

am i doing the reading number right

Hola future self in 6 years

bro I have trouble with 2*2. What the heck is this guy doing?

Anybody notice the furthest right volunteers shoe/sock difference

You laugh at his personality,

He laughs at your bank account

Anyone after seeing 15 yr old Yaashwin Saravanan

What's Infinity square equal to

My mans says give them around of applause while he’s chilling getting the answers faster aha

2019 and this is in my recommended and i am greatful

He actually does math the same way I do, but at like 10x speeds lmao amazing how fast he can get those calculations.

He's not faster than a calculator

He is a calculator

I loveeeeeeeeeeeeee this! Math and smartness and relaxed nice presentation!

But can he answer why I'm always late?

0 ÷ 0 = 0

If it doesn't have an answer, then it's nothing.

0 Is nothing.

It's 0.

When you hack in real life but try to hide it

Arthur calculate when will the youtube algorithm strike again. meet you then. bye

Benjamin: Youre weak

Calculator: Im you!!

Who would win Benjamin or Alexa?

This dude is a genius

Me: Showing this to my mom

My mom: "Why cant you be like him"

He can calendar calculate thus he must of been hit by lightning

Me on my calculator in math: 2+2

What a nerd

I wonder what he got on his SAT

Benjamin taking the reading part of the SAT : Ok so personification is 22,000, stanza 4 is 23,750 therefore the line that has personification is #12

ok but how does he find out the exact day they were born on?

that moment he threw his chalk 14:49

THE most interesting man i ve ever seen

Seriously… it's really faster than calculation 😲😲

The guy in the middle sounds like pyrocynicle

To be more accurate… No one is faster than a calculator in computing. That is physically impossible.

This man must have like a billion IQ

where can i buy this "fast calculator"

😱😱😱😱😱

He’s actually asian

He sounds like the nicest man in existence.

2+2=4-1=3 Quick Maths

See ya in 710 years. Lets check out if that weather of 2730 june 13th is right

The asian kid: pathetic

I wonder if he'll donate his brain when he dies

calculator: ight imma head out.

He has a daughter bois.

Humanity is saved.

Its obvious why he is so fast.

He has an asian brain

tuxedo

jackiy chan

"i don`t like his hair cut….kill him"

is he going to teach us any thing ? its TED ? not america's got talent

And then there me typing things into the calculator like 10 + 10 just to make sure

The real question is whats the app called im interested

Is he faster than a computer?

Recommended has brought us together.

See you in another 6 years

Teacher: "alright class, put your calculators away"

Young Arthur Benjamin: "foolish mortal"

It's amazing how realistic robots seem now.

Funny, calculator, from Ted. He is the man of culture

Teacher: Okay, no caluclators for this test.

This guy:

leaves the roomWow imagine having a fortnite pfp that would be so wet

This dude can find out if pie has an end

I also hate chalk.

Me:

pulls out calculatorArthur Benjamin: hey I'm here

My calculator: aight imma head out.

Why are there so many bottles in the background it’s so unnecessary

so great

Author Benjamin: Exists

Calculators: Ight imma head out

Aight, imma make a sandwich brb

Kids doing thumbs up even though they dont know what to type in the calculator… not my fault my brains fault

So I pulled up in Staples and keep getting directions to calculators, I'm looking for Arthur Benjamins

Arthur get pemdas stonesMath can be whatever i wantBet people in 2730 will see this

bro this dude more than a calculator

Is the blue guy on just one shoe?

Epic in recommended

Meth

Omg I need that type of mind on all my tests

2:39

Anyone die?

Yo uh what’s 958184 x 968284 divided by 492818

Wonderful sir

Meanwhile I use a calculator to do 7+7 just to be 100% sure that my answer is correct

But the real question is

–

Can he calculate

2+2?I bet this man could win a battle against Michael on prime numbers

Dude works faster than my calculator and my calendar.

Teacher: Calculators Are Not Allowed

Me: Brings Arthur Benjamin

I know we can find the day of week of any date in just 10-15 seconds.

I know that trick but the calculations, are impossible.

It's like it was pre decided. He speaks so fast that even it needs time to check. The audience convinces as the volunteers agree.

And I also don't understand why to put mind under so much pressure when there a calculator for these purposes or smartphone ?

What's the nees to show off when we know that calculator is also invented by humans.

Make some good apps or software if you are such a brilliant.

I just wasted 15 minutes of a man doubting me good in math

wtaf

Plot twist: the chalk was a paid actor

Slows down

Me: Booooo! Get off the stage

wtf dude

He's actually a nice enertainer

Wtf

I don’t even like math

ACTIVATE BIG BRAIN MOMENT

Me: 1+1=2 quick math

Either he is smart, or he cheated. 99.9999% chance he cheated 😛

No lo sé falso parece rick

I can do better … 100,000 x 100,000 = 10,000,000,000 (*i totally didn’t calculate this…*)

teacher: how good are you at math?

arthur benjamin: YES

G-E-N-I-U-S🥰

And there is me failing the non-calculator test that was about multiplying single digits.

I wonder if one of those videos of God speed workers can beat him

RIP Mr. Arthur Benjamin He Passed Away Last Week!😢😭

sir you are great

I upload everyday on YouTube soo..